Rising Sea Levels Could Displace 13 Million Americans Over Next 100 Years
A mass exodus could be happening in the next 100 years thanks to the effects of global warming. In a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change, 13.1 million Americans could be forced from their homes because of the rising sea levels. People who live in coastal states such as Florida and Louisiana would be the first to be affected by the changes.
According to the Huffington Post, University of Georgia’s Public Service Associate, Mathew Hauer, stated that the impact will be three times worse than expected. “The impact projections are up to three times larger than current estimates, which significantly underestimate the effect of sea level rise in the United States,” Hauer said in a statement. “In fact, there are 31 counties where more than 100,000 residents could be affected by six feet of sea level rise,” he concluded. If this indeed does happen, this will be the largest mass departure of humans since the Great Migration. The migration resulted in 6 million African-Americans moving from the rural South to Northern, Western and Midwestern cities from 1916-1970. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, scientists believe that the sea levels will rise no more than 6.6 feet by the year 2100. Out of 13 million, 4.2 million Americans will be affected by flooding and other hazards. Scientists already concluded that the sea levels rose faster during the 20th century than any other time in 3,000 years. There are two major reasons for the rising sea levels: One, the shrinking of land ice such as mountains and glaciers, which is released into the oceans; secondly, when the ocean temperature rises, the warmer water expands. Trapped between the basins bounded by the continents, the water has nowhere else to go but up, thus creating the rising sea levels.